Lewis Hamilton expects the upcoming 2020 campaign will be “the most difficult season” that Formula 1 has ever experienced as the sport prepares to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the opening 10 races were wiped out due to the coronavirus outbreak, the delayed 2020 season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend on July 5.

Back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria will kick off an unprecedented run of eight grands prix in just 10 weeks, while F1 is currently working to finalise the remainder of what it hopes will be a 15-18 round campaign.

The F1 paddock will operate under strict, unique protocols to ensure events can go ahead safely this year. Teams have been practicing these procedures in recent weeks ahead of next weekend’s season-opener in Spielberg.

“We are preparing in the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season that F1 has experienced with the difficult times that we are facing and the changes we have to make to operate,” Hamilton said in a video released by Mercedes.

“I wanted to thank you all for all the positive messages, they’ve really helped over the last couple of months for the team and I.”

Hamilton recently got his first taste of the new hygiene measures and drove F1 machinery for the first time since Barcelona pre-season testing in February as Mercedes’ undertook a two-day private test with its 2018 title-winning W09 car at Silverstone.

The six-time world champion conceded it will be “quite lonely” racing in front of empty grandstands, with fans expected to be banned from attending grand prix weekends for the foreseeable future.

“We’re going to miss you at the races, and I’m going to miss you,” he explained. “Driving past empty stands is just not going to be too inspiring, it’s going to be quite lonely.

“But we will know that you guys are still there with us in spirit. Please keep your fingers crossed for us and stay positive.” Hamilton braced for ‘most difficult F1 season’ ever

Lewis Hamilton expects the upcoming 2020 campaign will be “the most difficult season” that Formula 1 has ever experienced as the sport prepares to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the opening 10 races were wiped out due to the coronavirus outbreak, the delayed 2020 season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend on July 5.

Back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria will kick off an unprecedented run of eight grands prix in just 10 weeks, while F1 is currently working to finalise the remainder of what it hopes will be a congested 15-round campaign.

The F1 paddock will operate under strict, unique protocols to ensure events can go ahead safely this year. Teams have been practicing these procedures in recent weeks ahead of next weekend’s season-opener in Spielberg.

“We are preparing in the best way we can for what is going to be the most difficult season that F1 has experienced with the difficult times that we are facing and the changes we have to make to operate,” Hamilton said in a video released by Mercedes.

“I wanted to thank you all for all the positive messages, they’ve really helped over the last couple of months for the team and I.”

Hamilton recently got his first taste of the new hygiene measures and drove F1 machinery for the first time since Barcelona pre-season testing in February as Mercedes’ undertook a two-day private test with its 2018 title-winning W09 car at Silverstone.

The six-time world champion conceded it will be “quite lonely” racing in front of empty grandstands, with fans expected to be banned from attending grand prix weekends for the foreseeable future.

“We’re going to miss you at the races, and I’m going to miss you,” he explained. “Driving past empty stands is just not going to be too inspiring, it’s going to be quite lonely.

“But we will know that you guys are still there with us in spirit. Please keep your fingers crossed for us and stay positive.”

 

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